Taco Tuesday: 3 Reasons the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Is Better Than a Ford Raptor

The Ford F-150 Raptor is a formidable foe. In fact, these trucks aren’t even technically in the same class. However, each of these trucks is known for its capability off-road. Despite places where the Raptor obviously overpowers the smaller, more humble Toyota truck, these are 3 reasons the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is better than a Ford Raptor.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a smaller pickup truck. It isn’t a big brutish Ford Raptor. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of reasons to obsess over the Ford F-150 Raptor––especially with the new V8 model just around the corner. But there are still reasons that the Tacoma dominates as the better truck.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is cheaper than a Ford F-150 Raptor

Car and Driver estimates the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will cost around $59,000. If you spec out the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro with all the bells and whistles it will come just above $50 grand. The TRD Pro model starts just over $40 grand, however, with a long list of standard features. So if you want a decked out off-road truck, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a cheaper option.

The 2021 Ford Raptor parked on rocks for display
2021 Ford Raptor | Ford

We get that the Ford F-150 Raptor is bigger and boasts a more powerful engine. It also costs a lot more. If you are considering buying a truck for overland traveling, a lower initial cost can mean a lot for the potential of your build.

The Tacoma TRD Pro is narrower which means better accessibility

The Taco is an off-road warrior in a way that Ford’s Baja truck can’t compete with. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is significantly narrower. That means squeezing through narrower trails and slimmer passageways.

A green Toyota Tacoma with the TRD Pro grille style on display
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

According to Ford Media, the 2020 Ford Raptor has a width of 86.3 inches (excluding the mirrors). Toyota shows a width of 75.2 inches for the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. So, you see, the Tacoma TRD Pro definitely boasts much better accessibility for overland travel. It’s over 10 inches narrower than the Ford F-150 Raptor behemoth.

The Ford F-150 Raptor doesn’t offer a manual transmission

Arguably one of the Taco’s coolest claims to fame to date is the fact that you can still get one with a manual transmission. This surprisingly shifty feature is a unique feature that gives the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro all the more desirable in the serious off-road community.

a 2021 toyota tacoma trd pro in the snow with the lunar rock paint color
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro with a manual transmission | Joseph Santos/MotorBiscuit

The Ford Raptor does not offer a manual option. We aren’t expected it to start offering one for 2021, although at this point bets are still off. There’s a lot we don’t yet know about the new model. So, while the Raptor has a lot to offer as an off-road beast, it doesn’t offer a manual transmission. And that’s our third reason why the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is better than a Ford F-150 Raptor.

Taco vs Raptor

We aren’t necessarily saying that the TRD Pro Taco reigns supreme overall. In fact, we are simply pointing out a few reasons why some people might choose it over the Ford F-150 Raptor. Pricing, size, and that manual transmission wild card are three reasons the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is better than the Raptor. And even these reasons will ultimately depend on the specific buyer and their priorities.


The Least Reliable 2015 Pickup Trucks According to Consumer Reports